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Menorah Upside-Down Cake


This is a traditional upside-down cake with a menorah design in the topping. Be sure to allow the baked cake to cool on a rack for five to ten minutes before turning it out. The menorah will then have a chance to set and the cake will slip out nicely.


Menorah Topping

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted margarine
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple spears, drained, reserve the juice
  • 9 maraschino cherries

Cake Batter


  1. Melt the margarine in a 9-inch square pan.
  2. Add the brown sugar. Pat the mixture evenly over the bottom of the cake pan.
  3. Using the pineapple spears and cherries, arrange a menorah design on the brown sugar. Place 2 spears end to end across the pan for the menorah base. Then place a single spear in the center of the base at a right angle to it; this will be the shamash (the "servant" candle with which the others are lighted). Cut 8 pineapple spears one inch shorter than the shamash. Position these parallel to the shamash, 4 on either side, to represent the candles. Under the shamash spear and under the base, place 2 half-pieces of pineapple spear side by side; these are the menorah stand. Two more half-pieces may be placed end-to-end under the stand. Place a cherry over each vertical spear to represent the flames.
  4. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  5. Prepare the cake batter. In a medium-size mixing bowl, cream the shortening.
  6. Gradually add the sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
  7. Add the egg, vanilla extract and lemon rind.
  8. Into a bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Alternately add the dry ingredients and the pineapple juice to the creamed mixture, beating after each addition until blended and smooth.
  9. Carefully spoon the batter over the menorah topping in the pan.
  10. Bake for 45 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly pressed. let the cake cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes.
  11. Invert it onto a serving dish. Allow 2 to 3 minutes before removing the pan.
  12. Variation: For a shortcut, prepare the batter from a white or yellow cake mix (you will only need half of a regular-size package). Spoon this over the menorah topping.


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